Vitamin E May Slow Down Effects of Alzheimer’s Disease

Vitamin E May Slow Down Effects of Alzheimer's Disease

A new study has shown that vitamin E is believed to be able to help slow down the effects of mild to moderate forms of Alzheimer’s disease.

Alzheimer patients were given high doses of the specific vitamin for approximately two years and the degenerative brain disease was delayed in its progression by around 6 months. This was in comparison to individuals who were given a placebo. The research report was printed up in the Journal of the American Medical Association.

Research examiners stated that physicians might want to discuss vitamin E as a selection in the early stages of Alzheimer’s disease as a treatment. Vitamin E acts as an antioxidant, which might avert or suspend damage to cells, and also enhance the body’s immune system. This new study builds upon previous discoveries that showed vitamin E appeared to slow down the disease’s development in patients who had moderately severe Alzheimer’s disease and it is the first to display that vitamin E might help halt decline in individuals who are suffering with milder forms, stated Maurice Dysken, who is the lead research study author.

For a patient to have a delay in six months to over two years can be extremely meaningful to many patients and their care givers, explained Dysken, who is a professor of psychiatry at the University of Minnesota. He is also a past director of Geriatric Research and Education at the Minneapolis, Minnesota VA Health Care System. Dysken added that the research study did not do any research studies as to whether vitamin E would thwart Alzheimer’s disease in people who did not have an Alzheimer’s diagnosis.

The research study examined nearly 615 veterans. The group was made up of individuals who got vitamin E, a combination of vitamin E and a brand name drug used for moderate to severe Alzheimer’s disease, the drug alone or just a plain placebo. The vitamin E  used in the study was 20 times stronger than the dosage that is found in a regular multi-vitamin. All of the various patients in the trial were already on some sort of Alzheimer’s medication. The chief outcome was to see how well the research participants could perform activities of daily living.

The research examiners discovered that vitamin E slowed down the worsening of the disease by nearly 20 percent a year as compared to the placebo. The study also showed that those who were in charge of taking care of the Alzheimer patients who were taking vitamin E were able to devote less time giving care compared with the patients who were only taking the brand name drug.

Over five million Americans suffer from Alzheimer’s disease, and that number is expected to triple by 2050, the Alzheimer’s Association has stated.

Vitamin E is naturally found in many foods such as sunflower seeds, broccoli and spinach. Although some other investigations have claimed that there is a link between vitamin E and deaths due to stroke or cancer, there were no safety issues seen in this Alzheimer study.

The new study has shown that vitamin E is believed to help slow down the effects of mild to moderate forms of Alzheimer’s disease.

By Kimberly Ruble


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